Builders, contractors and tradespeople have been urged to familiarise themselves with workplace asbestos handling procedures or face heavy clean-up costs and prosecution.

People who need to be aware of safe asbestos handling procedures include licensed contractors, hirers of high pressure water cleaners, electricians, cleaners and air conditioner installers.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) enforces work safety laws, including those involving asbestos, as well as issuing A and B class certificates for asbestos removal for both friable and bonded materials.

A man recently was fined $5500 over the use of a high pressure hose to clean an asbestos roof on a house on Coochiemudlo Island.

The WHSQ prosecution and investigation found the man did not undertake a risk assessment on the project even though he was informed that the roof contained asbestos particles.

Last year, the case was highlighted of a Mackay man being fined $4000 after being prosecuted over the removal of asbestos roof sheeting. He was ripping asbestos sheeting off a roof and breaking it up while people were working in the building below.

Some other cases have involved contractors being required to pay up to $100,000 to get in professional cleaners to clean up their mess.

The WHSQ website spells out the obligations and responsibilities of people working with asbestos, their license requirements and safety tips for removal or maintenance work. You can also download the Queensland Government publication Asbestos: A home renovator’s and tradesperson’s guide for minor work in domestic buildings, which has been updated to include information for contractors.

Breathing in asbestos fibres has been linked to three respiratory diseases, all of which can be fatal.

• Asbestosis: a chronic lung disease that can lead to respiratory impairment and to diseases such as lung cancer

• Mesothelioma: a cancer of the lining of the pleura (outer lung lining) or of the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity).

• Lung cancer: caused by asbestos; cannot be distinguished from those cancers that are caused by other agents such as tobacco smoke.

Come the first of January 2013 the old Asbestos licences will be replaced by new courses.

The individual B Class asbestos licence which was once used for -

Workers removing asbestos will no be replaced with the "CPCCDE3014A Remove Non - Friable Asbestos"

Trades persons disturbing small amounts of asbestos or removing less than 10m2 can now do our  "Working With Non-Friable (bonded) Asbestos Awareness"

Homeowners wishing to safely removal asbestos from thier homes legally can now complete our "Home Owners and diy Non-friable asbestos removal"

Companies wishing to get there new Remove Non-Friable asbestos licences must now have a competant person carry out the "CPCCDE3014A Remove Non - Friable Asbestos" and "CPCCBC4051A - Supervise asbestos removal Supervise asbestos removal" then apply to work place health and safety for a buisness licence.

The Company A Class licence has had a major change in that now all workers on site must have completed the "CPCCDE3015A - Remove friable asbestos Remove friable asbestos"

The only Prerequisite for these courses is a "CPCCOHS1001A - Work safely in the construction industry Work safely in the construction industry" Also Know as a White Card.

These courses are all avaliable from Keys Human Resources.

Contact our office for more details 07 38762202 or email

What should happen if a Serious Injury or
Near Miss Occurs On Site

A lot of our Students ask when doing our construction industry induction white card course,

When should I report an incident to workplace health and safety?

Our general response is if a person requires immediate treatment as an in patient or has received a serious injury to: Head, eye, spine or loss of bodily funcation, serious burn or laccerations.

We cover this during our construction worker inductions ( White Cards Training ), both in our online and face to face courses at our Nundah Training centre.

Not only should we report bodily injuries, we should report any near misses or dangerous incidents.

Examples of these are:

an uncontrolled escape, spillage or leakage of a substance
an uncontrolled implosion, explosion or fire an uncontrolled escape of gas or steam, an uncontrolled escape of a pressurised substance, electric shock that is not a serious electrical incident or a dangerous electrical event, the fall or release from a height of any plant, substance or thing, the collapse, overturning, failure or malfunction of, or damage to, any plant that is required to be authorised for use in accordance with the regulations, the collapse or partial collapse of a structure, the collapse or failure of an excavation or of any shoring supporting an excavation.

Who should do the reporting?

A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) is required to make the notification immediately after becoming aware that a notifiable incident arising from the business or undertaking has occurred.

How do I report ?

Over the phone on 1300 369 915 during office hours or After hours 1300 369 915.

Guide to work place health and safety Incident Reporting QLD.


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Working at Heights in Construction Industry is Still the Leading Workplace Hazard on Construction Sites

Falls from heights is the leading cause of injury in the construction industry.
Fall protection is needed in areas and activities that include, but are not limited to: ramps, runways, and other walkways; excavations; hoist areas; holes; formwork; leading edge work; unprotected sides and edges; overhand bricklaying and related work; roofing; precast erection; wall openings; residential construction; and other walking/working surfaces.

Previous requirements for housing construction industry

Were when working Under 3m – Identify each hazard that may result
in a fall or cause an injury and:
– Ensure the hazard is assessed
– Ensure any control measures necessary to prevent or
minimise the level of exposure to the risk are used
Were when working 3m and over – Required under the regulation to
use control measures, such as edge protection

Other construction activities 2m was the freshhold.

Under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

• Part 4.4, section 78 of the Regulation states:
– “the person conducting the business or
undertaking must manage risks to health and
safety associated with falls from one level to
another that is reasonably likely to cause an

• Note: No Height Threshold stated

All workers entering construction sites must have completed training in the minimum form of a construction white card.

Workers whom regularly work from heights are recommended to complete a Working at heights competency base training course.

For more information go to -

For construction white card training follow our link to our onlinewhitecard course -

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Did You Know 123 Construction Workers Died on Building Sites Between 2008 and 2011?

The Construction industry employed 1.02 million people in 2010–11, representing 9% of the Australian workforce. Within this industry, 73% of workers were classed as employees and were covered by workers’ compensation. Employers in this industry paid 2.3% of payroll in 2010–11 to cover their employees for workers’ compensation. 



Over the three years from 2008–09 to 2010–11:

123 Construction workers died from work-related injuries. This number of deaths equates to 4.26 fatalities per 100 000 workers which is nearly twice the national fatalities rate of 2.23.


Falls from height accounted for 25% of fatalities (31 deaths) with ladders involved in 11 deaths, buildings in 7 and scaffolding in 7.


Hit by falling objects accounted for 15% of fatalities with a range of building materials and equipment involved. Vehicle incident also accounted for 15% of fatalities with cars involved in 11 of the 18 deaths.


Electrocutions resulted in 17 deaths (14% of fatalities) and Being hit by moving objects accounted for 12 deaths (10%), 8 of which involved a truck.


Serious Claims

The data for 2010–11 show 13 640 claims for serious injury or illness. Over the three years from 2008–09 to 2010–11 the Construction / Building industry accounted for 11% of all serious workers’ compensation claims. On average there were 39 claims each day from employees who required one or more weeks off work because of work-related injury.


Figure 1 shows that the incidence rate of serious claims in this industry has fallen 36% from 31.0 claims per 1000 employees in 2000–01 to 19.9 in 2009–10. However, this rate remains much higher than the rate for all industries of 13.0 and was the fourth highest of all industries in 2009–10.


Over the past three years muscular stress injuries accounted for 34% of claims with many of these claims due to handling a range of materials and equipment. Falls, trips and slips of a person accounted for 26% of claims and there were similar numbers for Falls from height as Falls on same level.Being hit by moving objects accounted for 16% of claims. Many of these claims involved being hit by falling materials or equipment.


Over the period 2006–07 to 2009–10 all States except the Australian Capital Territory recorded decreases in incidence rates. The greatest decrease was recorded by South Australia (27%) closely followed by Tasmania (26%) and Western Australia (24%). The Australian Capital Territory recorded a 14% increase.


The data for 2010–11 show that incidence rates across Australia ranged from 12.6 claims per 1000 employees in the Northern Territory to 25.2 in Tasmania.


Over the period 2006–07 to 2009–10 South Australia recorded the largest decrease in incidence rates (39%) followed by the Northern Territory (29%). The Australian Capital Territory recorded the largest increase (17%).


The preliminary data for 2010–11 show that the Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest incidence rate of 9.5 claims per 1000 employees while the Northern Territory recorded the lowest at 2.5.


With such a large portion of workplace injuries coming from the construction industry it is important that we maintain a high level of training and refresh this training at regular intervals.


Each state in Australia previously had its own construction induction training course, NSW had its Green Card, Queensland had its Blue Card, Victoria had a Red Card along with South Australia / Western Australia / Northern Territory / ACT & Tasmania all having their own variants of a building safety induction card.


Under the 2011 workplace health and safety amendments the Australian Construction White Card was implemented to allow workers to travel around Australia without having to under take the same training again in each state.


Keys Human Resources has introduced its online construction white card training course to assist building industry workers  maintain their construction safety training.


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People repairing and restoring their homes need to protect themselves and their families from the dangers of asbestos.


It is recommended people wear masks and disposable suits before handling any material..

Many buildings constructed before 1990 contain asbestos products, and while it is understandable that flood-affected families want to assess the damage to their home and begin the clean up, safety should come first.


When people start using high-pressure water blasters to clean away the mud, they should be mindful of whether their house is asbestos or fibro. If this is the case, they should not take care not to disturb the surface of the fibro, which can release asbestos fibres. Fibro can be dangerous even after sheeting has dried.


It is predicted that future natural disasters will continue to trigger the risk of asbestos fibre release.

To help inform families and give them some training toward protecting themselves, the Queensland Government has teamed up with Keys Human Resources to for the first online Homeowner DIY asbestos removal course:

Any homeowner or member of the public involved with voluntary clean up duties in and around houses built before 1990 is strongly encouraged complete this course.

Keys Human Resources also provide commercial Asbestos Removal courses

CPCCDE3014A   Remove Non - Friable Asbestos

CPCCBC4051A   Supervise Asbestos Removal

We will be launching our Friable course in July 2013

CPCCDE3015A  Remove Friable Asbestos

Contact our office for further details.

CPCCOHS1001A Work Safely in the Construction Industry also known as the Construction White Card / Blue Card is the only requirement for these courses.



Heat Stress in the Construction Industry

Working under the Queensland summer sun, especially for a long periods of time without adequate breaks, shade or water can lead to serious dehydration and heat-related illness or even death. Employers must provide protection for their workers from the heat and sun - and workers must follow their employerÂ’s instructions regarding heat stress and sun safety. This is even more important when working in the construction industry.


The risk is real. Recently a road worker was transported to hospital for heat related treatment and the following day a housing construction site worker at Miles received treatment by ambulance officers for heat stress.


Late last year, a 25 year old worker died and his colleague was hospitalised with severe dehydration after walking just 6km after they couldn't free their bogged vehicle in the Simpson Desert.


Workers are most at risk during heat waves when temperatures are above the average for three or more days, and high humidity increases the risk.


Extreme conditions can lead to heat-related health problems such as cramps, exhaustion, heat stroke, and fainting. Employers should weigh up all factors such as heat, humidity, water intake, breezes, protective gear, the physical condition of workers and their hours of work when creating a work plan during hot weather.


Recently on a project we carried out on a large roof, we identified heat stress as a risk and implemented the use of camel packs, broad brim hats, long sleeve shirts, ice cold water refills, electrolyte first aid concentrate, sunscreen, rotational breaks off the roof every hour and allowing workers to wear shorts. These precautionary steps not only assisted in the project seeing completion with zero safety concerns, but we came in under budget because productivity was maintained throughout the extreme heat conditions experienced. Our workers using skills identifed during their white card training assisted in selecting the correct safety protocals to maintain a safety work environment.

Safety in the building industry is a combined effort between the employer and the construction workers.


Safety when when it comes to heat stree doesn't cost money, it saves money! It can even increase productivity.


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Asbestos is still a danger in the construction industry

It is important to keep working to improve Asbestos Awareness in our communities. This is starting to occur with the establishment of a dedicated Asbestos Department within the Honourable Bill Shorten’s office of Employment and Workplace Relations.


Despite decades of litigation and lobbying, Australia is still riddled with asbestos and it is time we all helped spread the word. Asbestos still lurks in the bathrooms, kitchens, roofs, and garages of two out of three Australian homes built between 1945 and 1989.

There is an urgent need for education and awareness and the Society is working closely with the State and Federal Governments to develop programs targeting this.

Some information on asbestos is identified in our Building industry induction training also know as the Construction Industry White Card. However we recommened if you are looking to work in the housing or commercial construction industry in and around structures built before 1990 you should undertake some form of asbestos training. For a hassle free white card training, just go to our onlinewhitecard training course.

Here are some helpful links for anyone wanting to know more about Asbestos in Queensland.


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Phone: (07) 38762202

Fax: (07) 38762090




  • 41 Nundah Street, Nundah, Queensland, 4012, Australia | P: (07) 38762202 |